Dutch Doctors Ask Eldery to Choose: Ventilation or Let Virus ‘Run Its Course’

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Dutch doctors are asking their older patients to choose between either long-term ventilation or letting nature take its course if they become infected with the Chinese coronavirus.

Family doctors in the Netherlands are asking all citizens who have passed a certain age to put in writing whether they’d like to be put on a ventilator or not if they become infected, according to a report by Il Giornale — which characterised the latter option as a form of “euthanasia”.

The reason for the calls is that Dutch hospitals are beginning to experience crowding, with the Netherlands having garnered 10,866 confirmed cases and 771 deaths as of Sunday.

In order to avoid overwhelming hospitals, national health authorities appear to have invited doctors to contact Dutch seniors and present them with two choices: “long ventilation” or letting the disease run its course.

“In short, we are faced with a sort of natural selection masked by selective euthanasia,” said Il Giornale of the two choices.

The report added that the move was called “chilling” by the leader of the Party for Freedom, Geert Wilders, who asked the Minister of Health and Deputy Prime Minister Hugo de Jonge to intervene — but the Dutch parliament is nonetheless considering the introduction of assisted suicide for “completed life.”

Il Giornale noted that measures to contain the disease were tightened in the Netherlands on Saturday, with a ban on gatherings of more than three people until June 1st introduced and everyone mandated to remain at a distance of at least 1.5 meters from one another.

Moreover, schools, bars, restaurants, and hairdressers are now closed, and citizens have been asked to self-isolate in their homes unless they must leave to go to work or shop for necessities.


You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.


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